Study Debunks Vancouver Injection Site

22 Sep 2011 Study Debunks Vancouver Injection Site

For immediate Release, September 22, 2011: Drug Prevention Network of Canada – ERRONEOUS STUDY ON VANCOUVER INJECTION SITE EXPOSED

Three Australian doctors, a Canadian Ph.D., and Dr. Robert Dupont, the President of the US National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), are part of an international team, which has exposed major, inexcusable errors in a highly influential 2011 Lancet study on Vancouver’s Insite injecting facility.  The study had claimed that the site has reduced overdose deaths in the immediate surrounding area (Down Town East Side-DTES). This recent analysis nullifies the Lancet study’s claims, which are found to be unsustainable.  According to data from the British Columbia’s Coroner’s office, the number of deaths from drug overdose in the drug injection area has not decreased, but increased each year from 2002 – 2007, despite Insite’s commencement in 2003 (see endnote).

See analysis at www.drugfree.org.au/fileadmin/Media/Global/Lancet_2011_Insite_Analysis.pdf

The erroneous Lancet study was conducted by the same researchers who had previously completed over two dozen other, well publicized, positive, studies on the drug injection site.  These researchers however, have a conflict of interest, in that they were also the lobbyists for the establishment of the drug injection site over a decade ago.

A complaint about this questionable research has now been filed with the University of British Columbia, who employs the Lancet study researchers.

The Lancet article, published on 18 April 2011, may be influential in the Canadian Supreme Court hearings on the drug injection site held on May 12 this year, having been strategically timed to be distributed to the media the week the case was argued before the court. The Court reserved its decision on whether the Canadian government can close the facility, having been hampered from doing so by the court action launched by the operators and supporters of the site.

This exposure of the erroneous study points out that activists cannot be relied on to provide objective science.  The dozens of other studies on Insite provided by these activists are now also under a cloud, as a result of the errors found in 2011 Lancet study.

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Contact:

C. Gwendolyn Landolt                                     Chuck Doucette

President                                                        Vice President

(905) 787-0348                                               (778) 838-0201

(905) 713-0354

Al Arsenault

Board Member

(604) 788-7051

MR 2011-01

BACKGROUNDER

The Lancet article on Insite by Brandon D L Marshall, M-J Milloy, Evan Wood, Julio S G Montaner and Thomas Kerr titled “Reduction in overdose mortality after the opening of North America’s first medically supervised safer injecting facility: a retrospective population-based study” can be found at http://www.communityinsite.ca/injfacility.pdf.

The Coroner’s data for British Columbia, Vancouver and the Downtown Eastside (where Insite is located) is as follows:

 

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Vancouver

140

191

108

87

90

49

51

67

56

54

55

All BC

310

417

278

248

246

170

189

194

218

228

200

DTES

 

76

38

38

31

27

28

32

37

38

46

 

Coroner’s data for BC and Vancouver: http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/coroners/publications/docs/stats-illicitdrugdeaths-1997-2007.pdf

 

DTES data only for each year at Table 45, BC Vital Statistics Agency, Annual Reports: http://www.vs.gov.bc.ca/stats/annual/


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